Red Velvet Cake Donuts are baked, not fried, and topped with a tangy and sweet cream cheese frosting. This recipe recreates the classic red velvet cake flavor using kefir and cocoa powder and makes bright red donuts that pair perfectly with traditional cream cheese frosting!
Unlike fried doughnuts that can be daunting to make and create a mess, these red velvet doughnuts are baked so you don't have to worry about hot oil splattering in your kitchen!
These baked red velvet donuts are moist, fluffy, and irresistible! This is truly the best baked donut recipe for red velvet donuts!
This recipe is sponsored by Lifeway Kefir. Their plain lowfat kefir is up to 99% free of lactose and gluten, and it's made with non-GMO natural products! It's also packed with nutrients and probiotic cultures.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- The red velvet flavor is delicious in a fun doughnut form.
- These red velvet baked donuts don't require frying in hot oil!
- Decadent cream cheese frosting pairs so well with the fluffy chocolate flavored donut.
- The iconic red color will brighten your day and make the perfect Valentine's Day recipe!
- These are a more colorful version of my Chocolate Donuts with Sprinkles.
- Vegetable oil keeps the donuts nice and moist.
- Lifeway Plain Lowfat Kefir adds the classic tang you get in red velvet cake.
- A small amount of cocoa powder creates the traditional chocolatey red velvet flavor.
- Red food coloring gives these red velvet doughnuts their unmistakable color. I like to use gel food dyes, but liquid will also work!
- Room temperature cream cheese is the main ingredient in the cream cheese icing.
See recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.
Substitutions & Variations
- If you don't like cream cheese frosting, substitute equal parts butter in place of the cream cheese.
- Add mini chocolate chips to the red velvet batter for extra chocolate flavor.
- Not a fan of red? Use your favorite color food dye for a fun twist!
- Can't get your hands on Lifeway Kefir? If you absolutely need to substitute this ingredient, buttermilk can be used in an equal amount.
This recipe has not been tested with other substitutions or variations. If you replace or add any ingredients, please let us know how it turned out in the comments below!
How To Make Red Velvet Donuts
Step 1: In a large bowl, mix together the granulated sugar, vegetable oil, egg, kefir, and red food dye.
Step 2: In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
Step 3: Stir the dry ingredients into the wet mixture, then mix in the hot water.
Step 4: Pipe or spoon the batter into a greased donut pan. Bake at 350°F until donuts spring back with a gentle poke.
Step 5: To make the icing, mix the room temperature cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and milk together until smooth.
Step 6: Frost cooled donuts with cream cheese icing, top with sprinkles (optional), and enjoy!
Expert Baking Tips
- Red food coloring can be very messy if you aren't careful. Wear an apron and gloves to keep the dye off of your skin and clothes.
- Grease your donut pan using the wrapper from a stick of butter or spray oil to make sure your donuts come out clean.
- To make a piping bag at home, fill a gallon Ziploc bag with batter, then snip a bottom corner off and pipe into your donut pan. To make a piping bag at home, fill a gallon Ziploc bag with batter, then snip a bottom corner off and pipe into your donut pan.
- Donut quantity may vary depending on your donut pan's size. I used a metal donut pan and got 8 donuts!
- If you use a silicone donut pan, place a baking tray underneath it so that it doesn't wobble when you move it in and out of the oven.
Red velvet is a very moist cake with a slight tang from kefir and a small amount of cocoa powder.
No - this batter was developed to be baked and will be too thin to fry.
This can be found at lifewaykefir.com or in the dairy section of most grocery stores.
Red velvet donuts are best eaten the day they are made. Unrosted donuts can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3-5 days.
Store donuts here in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
Once the cake donuts are completely cooled but before icing, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or place them in a freezer-safe container for up to 1 month. When you’re ready to eat them, thaw the donuts at room temperature or in the microwave for 15-30 seconds, then frost and serve.
Did you try this recipe? Leave a ⭐️ review below and tag @brokenovenbaking and @lifewaykefir on Instagram!
Red Velvet Cake Donuts with Cream Cheese Icing
- Donut pan
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring spoons
Red Velvet Cake Donuts
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil or other neutral oil
- 1 large egg room temperature
- ⅓ cup Lifeway Plain Lowfat Kefir
- ¼-½ teaspoon red food coloring gel or liquid
- 1 cup all-purpose flour weighed in grams or spooned and leveled
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons hot water
Cream Cheese Icing
- 2 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 2-4 tablespoons milk more/less to reach your preferred consistency
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- sprinkles optional
- Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a donut pan with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, egg, kefir, and red food coloring.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.
- Gently stir half of the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Add the hot water and continue to stir just until combined.
- Pipe or spoon batter into the donut pan so that they're about ¾ of the way full. Bake until the donuts spring back after a light poke (about 9-11 minutes in a metal donut pan).
- Let the donuts cool, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Stir in the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract.
- Spread icing on the cooled donuts and top with sprinkles (optional).
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